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Reginald Marsh (1898-1954)

Related: American art - Roy Lichtenstein


Reginald Marsh (March 14, 1898 - July 3, 1954) was an American painter, born in Paris, most notable for his detailed depictions of life in New York City in the 1920's and 1930's. He painted using egg tempera, a forgotten medium revived in the mid-twentieth century. Marsh attended the Lawrenceville School and graduated in 1920 from Yale University, he then worked as a freelance illustrator, then for the New York Daily News and for The New Yorker. He also submitted illustrations to the New Masses One of his paintings, Tattoo Haircut-Shave, is on display at the Art Institute of Chicago. He is credited with giving famous American artist Roy Lichtenstein his first art tutelage through a summer camp run by the Art Students League of New York. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reginald_Marsh_%28artist%29 [Sept 2006]

Gaiety Burlesque

In the early 1930s, Marsh did numerous depictions of New York's popular Gaiety Burlesque. Therefore the Hunter's painting, which identifies that troupe in its title, though undated was probably finished between 1930 and '33. "The burlesque show is a very sad commentary on the state of the poor man," the artist professed. "It is the only entertainment, the only presentation of sex that he can afford. As for painting it, the whole thing is extremely pictorial. You get a woman in the spotlight, the gilt architecture of the place, plenty of humanity. Everything is nice and intimate, not spread out and remote as in a regular theater." For this particular performance Marsh puts the viewer in the midst of the all-male audience. The other show spectators in the foreground are quite close by, as though seated immediately adjacent. Their gazes are fixed upon the stage, except for one grinning character in the lower left who looks back over his shoulder. His eyes catch ours. He seems to recognize us and acknowledges our just coming into the parquet. -- William Henning, Jr. via http://www.huntermuseum.org/FrameForCollections.aspx?page=Include/HTML/Artists/reginaldmarsh.htm [Sept 2006]

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